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Public meeting on future of the NHS

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: June 10, 2012

  • your say: Michael Blackwell has organised a public meeting about local healthcare

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THE public have the chance to grill the GPs leading a healthcare revolution in mid Essex at a public meeting on Tuesday.

The Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group is a panel of GPs that will manage the £531 million annual budget for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and opticians when the NHS Mid Essex Primary Care Trust is scrapped next year.

The event at Chelmsford Cathedral Learning Centre in New Street, on Tuesday, June 12, has been organised by Essex and Southend Local Involvement Network, a local healthcare watchdog.

It follows a survey of 2,000 local people in which it asked: "If you could change one thing about your health and social care, what would it be?"

The findings of the survey will be relayed to the group and the public at the meeting.

Project manager and volunteer Michael Blackwell said: "It is the public that healthcare is impacting on, so it is they who should say what should improve.

"The public meeting will provide the new GP commissioners with insight as to what needs to change."

The commissioning group covers all of Mid Essex's 51 GP surgeries and their registered patients and will be known as NHS North Essex.

Until April 2013, the panel will be shadowed by Sheila Bremner, chief executive of NHS North East Essex.

The senior panel will also include representatives from NHS Mid Essex, Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, which runs Broomfield Hospital, Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council.

Dr Ahmed Mayet is the commissioning group lead on urgent care as well as GP at Fern House Surgery in Witham.

His surgery is one of the largest in Mid Essex, with more than 16,000 patients, where Dr Mayet holds regular Patient Participation Groups, a way in which he claims patients can take more responsibility for their healthcare services.

"I think patient involvement has been quite successful, it is through their input that we can see how to change things positively," he said.

"We are trying to take a slightly different angle, working with current health officials and hospitals closely.

"It takes time and it is a work in progress, but we are having slow successes."

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